There may be fewer tourists in Rome right now but otherwise life continues as normal in the Eternal City.
Roma non si ferma. Rome doesn't stop.
There are several ways to translate or interpret this slogan - the title of a new promotional video - whose no-nonsense message conveys a mixture of resistance and hope; a full-steam-ahead, business-as-usual approach. In short, life goes on in Rome.
Over the millenia, Rome - Caput Mundi - has been the stage of unrivalled glory and greatness. It has also weathered a myriad of storms down through the centuries but has always bounced back smiling.
As Rome prepares to celebrate its 2,773rd birthday next month, a grey cloud looms over the horizon, the same grey cloud that casts a shadow over more than 60 other countries around the world.
Yesterday afternoon some news sources in Rome posted videos and images, presented in such an alarmist way that it seemed that many people in the city centre are wearing masks. This is not true (yes there is a small handful wearing masks but they represent a minuscule number).
The feedback on social media from indignant Romans was, quite rightly, ferocious.
Earlier the same day Wanted in Rome published three videos showing the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon, highlighting the fact that the incredible beauty of these monuments can currently be enjoyed to the full thanks to reduced crowds. (The same way as we - all too recently - highlighted the negative impact of mass tourism.)
The footage attracted a mixed reaction, to say the least.
This new promotional video - #RomaNonSiFerma - a stunning visual production by Invidio, features some of Rome’s most majestic and best-loved sites. This is, after all, "The Great Beauty" we are talking about here.
The video is built along powerful key words including history, culture, sport, taste and tradition, reminding us that the city is both "sacred and profane." Rome is Life. Rome is Love. Rome is hospitality.
The video ends with the declaration: "The story goes on, Italy doesn't stop, Rome doesn't stop."
This short clip is powerful, proud and defiant. It is also a timely reminder to the world that, with the exception of those working in the troubled tourism industry, daily life in Rome continues as normal.